Torrential rain poured down Easter Sunday at St. Peter’s Church in Brighton during an open air Passion Play performed by Soul by the Sea. Jesus, his disciples and the rest of the cast were forced to wear raincoats.
According to reports, the performance otherwise “went off without a hitch”!
I live in Los Angeles and believe me when I tell you that I had not heard a single peep about that new Jesus movie—Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s Son of God—because, well, they don’t really market religious films here. In a city festooned with billboards for every damned offering large or small, good or bad that the industrial entertainment complex has in store for us, I think they figured that religious films aren’t for we West Coast heathens; that it’s a waste of money even bothering trying to, er, convert us, even for a big budget picture like Son of God. I can’t imagine Fox spent too much money marketing the film in NYC, either.
Nope, I only heard about this religious blockbuster after the fact, when all of the rightwing blogs like NewsMax, Breitbart and WorldNutDaily were crowing about how Jesus nearly kicked Liam Neeson’s ass in the box office boffo sweepstakes over the weekend. Go Jesus! (Is there anything, and I do mean anything, more pathetic than “rooting” for a movie, let alone pulling for the founder of Christianity to beat the crap out of a formulaic Hollywood action flick? Nothing, right?)
All this goofiness caused me to recall the cheerfully blasphemous “Son-O’-God Comics” that ran in a few 1970s issues of National Lampoon magazine.
In the Lampoon version of the New Testament’s central figure, “Benny Davis” a nerdy failure-to-launch boychick still living with his parents in Brooklyn, says the name “JESUS CHRIST!” (but not in vain) and transforms (ala Captain Marvel) into a muscular WASP super-hero version of Jesus with a six-pack, cape and halo, ready to do battle with Catholicism, Islam, the Scarlet Woman of Babylon, the Antichrist and even Bob Dylan.
The occasionally recurring strip was written by Sean Kelly (who would go on to become the founding editor of Heavy Metal magazine) and Michel Choquette, and (mostly) drawn by well-known comics artist Neal Adams, a “Silver Age” illustrator who worked on Batman for DC and a gazillion other comics.
I would be remiss in my duties writing on this topic without at least quickly mentioning how underrated National Lampoon is in terms of that magazine’s amazing and ground-breaking art-direction. If you consider that the 20th century will be looked upon as the golden era of the printed page, to my mind, the Lampoon’s Design Director, Michael Gross and Art Director David Kaestle created the most creatively free-wheeling and conversely the most detail-oriented magazine design on the planet. What they brought to America’s premiere countercultural humor magazine was an exacting eye for authenticity. If you were going to parody or satirize popular culture, it needed to actually LOOK LIKE the things you were referring to, or the joke would be lost. That was more or less a new idea at the time. In my opinion, the four years that Gross and Kaestle worked on National Lampoon is THE high point of art direction for a monthly print publication. Everyone always points to the the George Lois-era Esquire as the pinnacle of graphic design in magazines—and it’s great stuff, don’t get me wrong—but the Lampoon was even better, had more nuance and yet Gross and Kaestle’s work rarely gets the credit it deserves.
You can find out everything you always wanted to know about “Son-O’-God Comics” at Dial B for Blog.
You may have already seen a few of these paintings by artist and Jesus-enthusiast, Nathan Greene. I recall seeing some of these paintings a couple of years ago on the Internet and being completely confused by them and yet, not being able to look away! They’re strangely compelling, right?
Nathan’s paintings don’t come cheap, costing upwards of $1,495. Thankfully, there are prints available at cheaper prices.
There’s a whole gallery here if you’d like to take a gander at even more.
Adam and Eve? Or is it Jon Hamm and Mila Kunis?
Jesus jokes with a little girl: “I tawt I taw a putty tat.”
Jesus helps a perplexed scientist get his head around Darwin…
Would Jesus in the operating room be comforting or just the opposite?
Jesus watches over you while you sleep. That’s not cool.
This scenario from my imagination shows Jesus visiting a clinically depressed Paul McCartney. He is sitting on Paul’s right side and slides a Lamb chop Puppet in to Paul’s peripheral field of vision. Paul hasn’t bothered to get out of his robe. His white socks dangle off the ends of his toes. He is depressed and disheveled. On the wall behind him is the cause of his plight… Yoko…
Who is the happy, house-cleaning angel supposed to represent, I wonder?
The painting is currently on eBay and has a “Buy It Now” for $177,000.000.
It makes sense that a state as hard hit economically as Michigan has been would have clergy so supportive of the anti-capitalist protests. It’s because they know what post-capitalism looks like in Michigan! The clergy truly cater to the poor there, it’s not a joke to them. The support for Occupy Wall Street is even coming directly from the pulpit as the (appropriate) question is asked:
If Jesus were alive today, would he be at Occupy Wall Street movement?
As senior pastor of the nondenominational Fountain Street Church, [Rev. Fred] Wooden delivered a sermon this month which highlighted the similarities between the Occupy movement’s cry for economic equality and the gospel story of Jesus cleansing the temple by casting out the money changers.
But Wooden didn’t stop at words when it came to expressing solidarity with the Occupy movement. The church has allowed the Occupy Grand Rapids protesters to camp in its parking lot at night and is providing other support measures.
It appears the movement has found an ally in the faith community due to their cry for social and economic justice. On Monday, the Vatican’s call for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions was seen immediately as a measure of support for Occupy Wall Street.
“The economic and financial crisis which the world is going through calls everyone, individuals and peoples, to examine in depth the principles and the cultural and moral values at the basis of social coexistence,” the Vatican’s Justice and Peace document said.
Although some have criticized the movement’s message as muddled and diluted by fringe elements taking rhetorical refuge under the Occupy umbrella, Belief Watch columnist Lisa Miller points out that the Jesus of history would have loved them all.
Jesus gave preferential treatment to society’s outcasts, wrote Miller recently in the Washington Post. “Lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes — all would attain heaven before the ordained elites.” And, she argues, Jesus says in the Gospels that the meek will inherit the Earth.
“There would be no Wall Street if Jesus and Mohammad had their way,” said Ghazala Munir, one of the founders of the Interfaith Dialogue Association in West Michigan, during the Oct. 19 panel discussion at Fountain Street Church.
Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and current chair of the Global Agenda Council on Faith for the World Economic Forum, recently wrote a new book called “Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street — A Moral Compass for the New Economy.”
“Don’t expect the Occupy protesters to produce a list of policy demands, Wallis said. That’s not their purpose. Rather, they are creating space for the fundamental questions about social justice that weren’t being asked before this fall.”
Wallis said Washington, D.C., is not a place where change originates, but where change arrives. If nothing else, the movement has been successful in refocusing the media and politicians on the problem of inequality, he said.
“The Bible says you see the truth of a society more clearly from the bottom and the edges than from the top.”
It’s interesting to read this brain-damaged comments thread at NewsBusters for the opposite side of this issue, including who Jesus would hate, using nukes on OWS, etc, etc.
For more of the flipside of things, rightwing radio fuckwit Michael Savage pukes up some bile on the “Would Jesus Occupy Wall Street?” question: “Jesus was not a communist, that I can tell you!” sez Savage. What kind of bitter, mean old white guys would listen to a radio show like this every day? A few minutes of Michael Savage is enough to be mildly upsetting. He’s a humorless, witless creep who makes Rush Limbaugh seem like a master showman by comparison. Enjoy!
A progressive Christian group is pressuring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann to support President Obama’s jobs plan using the story of the loaves and fishes to demand a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. Although I think this is hilarious and support their efforts, good luck with this line of reasoning and “Crazy Eyes”. Via the Minnesota Independent:
“Jesus would support this bill,” said Brandon Nessen, the group’s spokesperson. “Ask the wealthiest to contribute so that ordinary families can get back on two feet again.”
The group will re-enact the biblical story of Jesus Christ using either five or seven loaves of bread and several small fish, depending on the version of the story, to feed thousands of starving people. The story is seen as a lesson to help the less fortunate.
The event is being organized by members of the “religious left,” according to a press release. “A group of church-going progressives will descend on her Woodbury office to ask her to support President Obama’s jobs bill, which would use revenue from taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for infrastructure projects and other bipartisan policies aimed at stimulating job growth,” the group’s statement said. “The group will reenact a version of the biblical story of Loaves and Fishes to demonstrate that Jesus created abundance from apparent scarcity just as Congress could do with the President’s jobs package.”
The group, calling itself the “Spirit of Truth Faith Community” describe themselves as “a faith community from the Christian tradition that strives to put love and justice at the center of everything we do. We are a group of people who realized we wanted to live out our values of love and justice, and that we needed a faith community to do it.”
The cognitive dissonance that this must cause for Bachmann is funny to contemplate…